Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mudflats, Hun?

Tipa's been having fun in LOTRO. I was surprised, were you surprised? She complains about one thing though:

I switched Ettie to Historian when I took a look at the Auction House and found absolutely nothing I could afford for dyes. There were very, very few on the market and almost all of them sold for far more than 100 silver.

Mudflation has clearly taken hold in LotRO. When I played before, the Auction House had plenty of items for characters of all levels, a nice selection, but now even the first thing a crafter might make to skill up is being sold on the Auction House for many, many times more than it’s worth.

Boy did you get that right. I'll tell you why this is, too. Putting an item up for sale costs you money up front, and more money when it sells. I feel this is a very bad idea. My favorite off-line selling system is (no surprise here) Everquest 2's. EQ has bazaar selling, but you have to stay logged in, but its still second best.

The problem with auctions is that you can't just toss up stuff and leave it there for a while. Stuff that maybe doesn't have a big market, but someone would find useful.

Third favorite is WoW's AH. There, at least if you didn't sell something, it didn't cost you anything. So you might toss it right back up. There's always stuff out there for lower levels, some of it pretty reasonable in price.

The upfront charge for AH chases people away, and I think that's a very bad thing. I've had some luck selling dyes, but my wife hasn't, and now she doesn't want to put any up for sale, because her money is tight, and she doesn't want to lose more if they don't sell. See how that works?

As for myself, I've made tons of stuff while leveling up that would be decent leveling gear. Last summer I managed to sell some on the AH, but there are so few people leveling right now, putting things on the AH would likely just cost me money. This is what we call market failure.

To make things worse, the posting fee depends on the length of time and on the item itself (in some mysterious way). It's as if the Turbine people are trying to discourage some things from being posted. I think someone had the bright idea that a high posting fee would encourage lower prices. They were wrong.

I say that they need to get rid of the AH posting fee in LOTRO. I'm ok with them taking a cut when you actually sell something. I would prefer a system more like EQ2, but that would be a huge change, and probably too costly to develop now. But at least it would allow more people to post things that might sell at the lower levels.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Psychochild said...

Actually, WoW does charge a small fee for posting items up on the Auction Hall. But, the costs are pretty small, and they get refunded to you if your item sells. The listing fee is based on cost, though, so some items that have no value (like enchanting materials) will have no cost to post up on the Auction Hall.

I noticed the costs in LotRO are pretty high all around, especially at the lower levels: Auction Hall, horse travel, mailing fees, etc. These become less painful at higher levels, sure, but I kind of scoff at the idea of spending the cash from several quest rewards on a simple trip from Duillond to Celondim!

I agree that EQ2 had the best Auction Hall mechanic. It also encouraged people to open their houses and for buyers to go visit houses to avoid the AH markup. I got to see a lot of really cool house designs when I was hunting down bargains.

Anyway, the good thing about MUDflation is that if you're smart you an make some good money by selling materials on the Auction Hall. My Loremaster/Explorer had nearly 1.5 gold primarily by selling tier 1 ore and treated wood. You also have to be patient and post at the right time when the supply is low and/or the prices are high.

3:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home